10 Most Popular Computers in History

Commodore Amiga
The Amiga computer offered high speeds and quality graphics at an affordable price. © Bettmann/CORBIS

The Amiga 500, released in 1987, followed in the footsteps of wildly successful computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II. It was newer, faster, better: The Amiga 500 made the jump from an 8-bit CPU up to 32 bits and 7 MHz of speed. The computer shipped with 512KB of RAM, support for up to 4096 colors, and an internal 3.5-inch floppy drive. Not bad for a launch price of $700.

The Amiga was a speedy computer, thanks to a design featuring multiple coprocessors that were dedicated to certain duties such as audio or video. The central processing unit didn't have to do everything by itself. Commodore released many Amiga models over the course of a decade, but the inexpensive 500 was the most popular. The Amiga was an especially popular software platform for games and creative programs for video and sound work. Thanks to its coprocessors, the Amiga was powerful enough to do graphic and animation work previously impossible on a consumer PC.

Overall, the Amiga family sold approximately 6 million units -- an amazing number for any computer launched in the 1980s [source: Amiga History Guide].